30th defendant pleads guilty in Las Vegas Valley homeowners association probe

Another plea deal has been struck in the long-running federal investigation into the takeover of Las Vegas Valley homeowners associations.

Kenneth Allen, 68, a former board member at the Sunset Cliffs homeowners association, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one felony count of wire fraud.

He is the 30th person to plead guilty in the high-profile investigation, which became public in September 2008, when FBI agents and Las Vegas police conducted valley-wide raids.

His sentencing was set for June 20 before Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro.

Allen was supposed to plead guilty in November, but he balked at the deal, and Navarro ordered both sides to go back to the negotiating table.

At the time, Allen admitted getting help from the man accused of being the mastermind of the takeover scheme, former construction company boss Leon Benzer, in buying a condominium at Sunset Cliffs.

In his plea agreement, Allen admitted signing and submitting a false loan application that hid Benzer’s involvement in the $177,000 purchase.

Benzer and 10 others were indicted a year ago in the massive scheme. Their trial is set for March but is expected to be continued for months so defense lawyers can review the massive amount of federal evidence.

The defendants are accused of defrauding 11 homeowners associations out of millions of dollars between 2003 and 2009.